Tag Archive | prison

Week 42- Let is Snow!

Hello my wonderful Family and Friends!
This morning we woke up to whole of Miryang covered in beautiful, clean, white and fresh snow! We were shocked! Apparently it doesn’t snow in Miryang but this past week there have been so many snowflakes falling from the sky but not enough to even make a pile. Last night it happened though. I love snow.

We took a picture on the roof of our villa.

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Snow is everywhere!

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Sadly, this might be my last week in Miryang. This thursday we have transfer calls and I have been here for 6 months already. Since training will be over, one of us has to leave. Time has flown and I cannot believe that training is already over. We can’t believe it.

A cute girl named, Ga In, that comes to our English class with her mom.
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This last week we got to go to the Prison with the Elders and teach their investigator with them. We talked about faith with the investigator. He is an amazing person. He writes down his testimonies for the elders and they are powerful and amazing. I could feel the spirit so strong in there. If only our investigators could be like him! All that someone needs to do is open the book of mormon and start reading. as they do so they are taking those first steps of being able to believe that this book is true. I know the BOOK OF MORMON is true with all my heart.
We also went to this really amazing restaurant named Hermosa. It was amazing! Taking the fam there. The Owner is 31 years old and he created the building design and everything himself. It is wonderful.
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The owner gave us a paper lantern to launch into the sky. We wrote wishes on it and released it. It was so fun!
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I was reading these verses this week. Well, actually this morning and I wanted to share them.
D&C 58: 2-4
2 For verily I say unto you, blessed is he that keepeth my commandments, whether
in life or in death; and he that is faithful in tribulation, the reward of the same is greater in the kingdom of heaven.
 3 Ye cannot behold with your natural eyes, for the present time, the design of your God
concerning those things which shall come hereafter, and the glory which shall follow after much tribulation.
 4 For after much tribulation come the blessings. Wherefore the day cometh that ye shall
be crowned with much glory; the hour is not yet, but is nigh at hand.
We gave a young women lesson about overcoming our trials. I found these scriptures randomly and felt prompted to read them and share them. It is amazing how much the Lord knows us and how he wants to just give us all the blessings but we have to be ready to receive them. We have a crown of glory waiting for us if we endure. The Lord has a plan for us all and he knows how to make us better people. Endure to the end!
While reading these scriptures it reminded me of a talk by Elder M. Russell Ballard “Stay in the Boat and Hold On!”.

“Recently, a friend of mine took his son on a trip down the Colorado River through Cataract Canyon, located in southeastern Utah. The canyon is famous for its 14 miles (23 km) of white-water rapids that can be particularly hazardous.

In preparation for their adventure, they had carefully reviewed the National Park Service website, which contains important information about personal preparedness and common, hidden hazards.

At the beginning of the trip, one of the experienced river guides reviewed important safety instructions, emphasizing three rules that would ensure the group’s safe travel through the rapids. “Rule number one: stay in the boat! Rule number two: always wear a life jacket! Rule number three: always hold on with both hands!” He then said again, with even more emphasis, “Above all, remember rule number one: stay in the boat!”

This adventure reminds me of our mortal journey. Most of us experience periods in our lives where the tranquil waters of life are appreciated. At other times, we encounter white-water rapids that are metaphorically comparable to those found in the 14-mile stretch through Cataract Canyon—challenges that may include physical and mental health issues, the death of a loved one, dashed dreams and hopes, and—for some—even a crisis of faith when faced with life’s problems, questions, and doubts.

The Lord in His goodness has provided help, including a boat, essential supplies such as life jackets, and experienced river guides who give guidance and safety instructions to help us make our way down the river of life to our final destination.

Let’s think about rule number one: stay in the boat!

President Brigham Young commonly employed “the Old Ship Zion” as a metaphor for The Church of Jesus Christ‍ of Latter-day Saints.

He said on one occasion: “We are in the midst of the ocean. A storm comes on, and, as sailors say, she labors very hard. ‘I am not going to stay here,’says one; ‘I don’t believe this is the “Ship Zion.”’ ‘But we are in the midst of the ocean.’ ‘I don’t care, I am not going to stay here.’ Off goes the coat, and he jumps overboard. Will he not be drowned? Yes. So with those who leave this Church. It is the ‘Old Ship Zion,’ let us stay in it.”1

On another occasion, President Young said that he also worried about people losing their way when they were being blessed—when life was good: “It is in calm weather, when the old ship of Zion is sailing with a gentle breeze, [and] when all is quiet on deck, that some of the brethren want to go out in the whaling boats to have … a swim, and some get drowned, others drifted away, and others again get back to the ship. Let us stick to the old ship and she will carry us [safely] into the harbor; you need not be concerned.”2

And finally, President Young reminded the Saints: “We are on the old ship Zion. … [God] is at the helm and will stay there. … All is right, sing Hallelujah,for the Lord is here. He dictates, guides and directs. If the people will have implicit confidence in their God, never forsake their covenants nor their God, He will guide us right.”3

Given the challenges we all face today, how do we stay on the Old Ship Zion?

Here is how. We need to experience a continuing conversion by increasing our faith in Jesus Christ and our faithfulness to His gospel throughout our lives—not just once but regularly. Alma asked, “And now behold, I say unto you, my brethren [and sisters], if ye have experienced a change of heart, and if ye have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, I would ask, can ye feel so now?”4

The experienced river guides today can be likened to the Church’s apostles and prophets and inspired local priesthood and auxiliary leaders. They help us arrive safely to our final destination.

Recently, I spoke at the new mission presidents’ seminar and counseled these leaders:

“Keep the eyes of the mission on the leaders of the Church. … We will not and … cannot lead [you] astray.

“And as you teach your missionaries to focus their eyes on us, teach them to never follow those who think they know more about how to administer the affairs of the Church than … Heavenly Father and the Lord Jesus Christ do” through the priesthood leaders who have the keys to preside.

“I have discovered in my ministry that those who have become lost [and] confused are typically those who have most often … forgotten that when the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve speak with a united voice, it is the voice of the Lord for that time. The Lord reminds us, ‘Whether by mineown voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same’ [D&C 1:38].”5

In other words, they leave the Old Ship Zion—they fall away; they apostatize. Tragically, they often experience short-term and eventually long-term unintended consequences, not only for themselves but also for their families.

Our local Church leaders, like seasoned river guides, have been tutored by life’s experiences; have been trained and mentored by apostles and prophets and other officers of the Church; and, most important, have been tutored by the Lord Himself.

On another occasion this year, I spoke to the young adults of the Church in the May CES devotional broadcast. I said:

“I have heard that some people think the Church leaders live in a ‘bubble.’ What they forget is that we are men and women of experience, and we have lived our lives in so many places and worked with many people from different backgrounds. Our current assignments literally take us around the globe,where we meet the political, religious, business, and humanitarian leaders of the world. Although we have visited [leaders in] the White House in Washington, D.C., and leaders of nations [and religions] throughout the world, we have also visited the most humble [families and people] on earth. …

“When you thoughtfully consider our lives and ministry, you will most likely agree that we see and experience the world in ways few others do. You will realize that we live less in a ‘bubble’ than most people. …

“… There is something about the individual and combined wisdom of the [Church leaders] that should provide some comfort. We have experienced it all, including the consequences of different public laws and policies, disappointments, tragedies, and deaths in our own families. We are not out of touch with your lives.”6

Along with rule number one as I’ve applied it, remember rules two and three: always wear a life jacket, and hold on with both hands. The words of the Lord are found in the scriptures and the teachings of the apostles and prophets. They provide us counsel and direction that, when followed, will act like a spiritual life jacket and will help us know how to hold on with both hands.

We need to become like the sons of Mosiah, who “waxed strong in the knowledge of the truth.” We can become men and women “of a sound understanding.” This can be accomplished only by our “search[ing] the scriptures diligently, that [we] might know the word of God.”7

In searching the scriptures and the words of past and current apostles and prophets, we should focus on studying, living, and loving the doctrine of Christ.

In addition to developing the habit of personal scripture reading, we need to be like the sons of Mosiah and give ourselves “to much prayer, and fasting.”8

It seems that these things which are not easily measured are of great importance. Stay focused on these simple things, and avoid becoming distracted.

As I have known people who have not stayed in the boat and have not held on with both hands during times of trials and troubles or who have not stayed in the boat during times of relative calm, I have observed that many of them have lost their focus on the central truths of the gospel—the reasons why they joined the Church in the first place; the reasons they remained fully committed and active in living gospel standards and blessing others through dedicated, consecrated service; and the ways in which the Church has been in their lives “a place of spiritual nourishment and growth.”9

Joseph Smith‍ taught this central truth: “The fundamental principles of our religion [are] the testimony of the apostles and prophets concerning Jesus Christ, … ‘that he died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended up into heaven;’ and all other things are only appendages to these,which pertain to our religion.”10

If we keep our focus on the Lord, we are promised a blessing beyond comparison: “Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ,having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.”11

Sometimes faithful Latter-day Saints and sincere investigators begin to focus on the “appendages” instead of on the fundamental principles. That is, Satan tempts us to become distracted from the simple and clear message of the restored gospel. Those so distracted often give up partaking of the sacrament‍ because they have become focused, even preoccupied, with less important practices or teachings.

Others may focus on the questions and doubts they experience. Of course, having questions and experiencing doubts are not incongruent with dedicated discipleship. Recently, the Council of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles stated: “We understand that from time to time Church members will have questions about Church doctrine, history, or practice. Members are always free to ask such questions and earnestly seek greater understanding.”12

Remember, Joseph Smith himself had questions that began the Restoration. He was a seeker and, like Abraham, found the answers to life’s most important questions.

The important questions focus on what matters most—Heavenly Father’s plan and the Savior’s Atonement. Our search should lead us to become kind,gentle, loving, forgiving, patient, and dedicated disciples. We must be willing, as Paul taught, to “bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.”13

To bear another’s burdens includes helping, supporting, and understanding everyone, including the sick, the infirm, the poor in spirit and body, the seeker and the troubled, and also other member-disciples—including Church leaders who have been called by the Lord to serve for a season.

Brothers and sisters, stay in the boat, use your life jackets, and hold on with both hands. Avoid distractions! And if any one of you have fallen out of the boat, we will seek you, find you, minister to you, and pull you safely back onto the Old Ship Zion, where God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ are at the helm and will guide us right, to which I humbly testify in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.”

It is so good! I hope we all are able to stay on the boat and hold on. We will be blessed if we do!

This month is a special time to think about Christ, his birth and His Sacrifice. I hope we all remember who truly has sacrificed all and has done all for us. Please remember him during this season. He is the GIFT given to all mankind from a loving Heavenly Father. Here is a link to a video “He is the gift”.

http://www.mormon.org/christmas?cid=HPFR112814529

Soo amazing.

I love you all so much! Have a wonderful week! Remember Christ is the gift!

Love, Sister Orme

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Week 27- Investigators From Prison

Hello Dearest Friends and Family!
 
This week has been great! No food adventures but lots of rain! It has been raining non-stop for about 3 or so weeks! Maybe 4 or 5 out of those days it didn’t rain. Also not just a light rain, but pouring.
 
CONGRATULATIONS TO MELINDA AND BLAKE!!!! I am so excited to not only come back to two of my friends but they are also now my cousins! I love you Sutten and Melinda!!!!!! You married into the best family! Well, at least I think they are the best family. ^^ Btw, I just remembered a very brief and random thought that I had. I thought it was cool. So my first or second time meeting Melinda I thought she would be an awesome addition to our family. I couldn’t figure out how she could be in our immediate family but then I decided to settle on that she would be an awesome cousin. Well, look at what happened. I forgot I had ever thought that! Then when Sutten and Jake started becoming friends it just seemed like she was already apart of the family. I am excited for our two new cousins! Congratulations again to Maria!!! I will meet your new husband someday! LOVE YOU ALL! I am excited for who else is going to get married! ^^
 
So, this week we bought a ridiculous hat. We decided to put on our grandpa pants, thrift shop shirts and the hat on. yes, we look ridiculous!
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I wanted to highlight Carson’s email to me and the rest of the family. I want other missionaries to read this. Here is Carson’s Email: “So glad you are looking through old records Reagan! Way to go! Miracles are to be had from looking at those old investigator records found in area books…it is an awesome story.
“At the transfer meeting before I went to my last area, Ploiesti, our Mission President gave us a challenge to search the old investigator records in our apartment’s area books.  He promised that if we would do so we would find golden investigators and baptize.  So we followed his guidance and the first day we got to our area we searched our area book.  When I did I came upon a detailed note from a missionary who had since returned home.  He spoke about a father and son who he had met through English classes and they took missionary lessons, but the time wasn’t right. He pled with future missionaries so visit this family since they were golden.  Well, I decided we had found our man.  So our first Sunday in the area we dropped by the home of Valentin Ene and he and his family were home!  They invited us in, he was surprised to see us, but happy.  He told us how he didn’t believe in God, but was willing to learn, and felt that he should.  The last six months I was in Romania I taught Valentin. He grew step by step.  I dreamed, prayed, hoped that he would be baptized.  I knew he was one of the elect, a true kingdom builder.  About two weeks before my mission ended, we all took a bus to another chapel for a District (we didn’t have stakes) conference.  Valentin came along and on the way back home in the bus we sat next to one another and chatted the whole time. I was overjoyed and couldn’t believe my ears when he told me he had decided to get baptized.  It was a true miracle.  My last Sunday in Romania I was able to baptize him.  Since then he has been a branch president and district counselor. He has been to the temple a few times.  He also has a great job working for the church as the facilities manager for all of Romania and Moldova.  Mom and Dad have met him and his wife and two kids.  Anne has met Valentin and his family as well.  We have such a special relationship.  His wife is a devout Orthodox and hasn’t shown interest in the church, and wants her two boys to stay Orthodox.  But she is supportive of her husband and their youngest son Radu goes to church with his Dad.  The oldest boy is now in college in Denmark.
 
Pictures of Miryang from a tall apt building. basically the biggest one in Miryang
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“So that is a special story to me.  So when I read that Sister Orme was looking through old investigator records I got excited and had to give my witness that those efforts pay off!”
 
Well, this week we met an old investigator from 10 years ago. She has 3 children and wants to meet with us again! We have an appointment for friday. Currently we are teaching 3 old investigators from old records. When we visited this lady it was amazing. We knocked on the door and it was super loud in her house. She tutors kids in math and english. She said she was busy and to come back later and then 2 seconds later she said to come in. We sat and talked with 2/3 kids for about 30 mintues. She was really happy to see us and is excited to meet again. I am sooooo excited for all of these old investigators. I know that if we all do the same and call old investigators we will see miracles.
 
I think I briefly touched on this in an earlier email. But the Elders have some investigators in prison. One in particular who is absolutely amazing! He bears his testimony of the gospel often and they are powerful testimonies. The Elders were even given permission to baptize him right after he gets out of prison. He doesn’t even have to go to church first! He gets out this friday. I wanted to share with you my journal entry when I was reflecting on this miracle. “I feel like prisoners are some of the lowest of the low peoplle. They are stuck in prison, with not a lot of stuff to do, loads of time, and not a lot of possessions. They have a lot of time to ponder, think, and read. Why not ponder, think, and read the BofM? Yes, there is also a lot of evil in that prison. Many did really bad things but despite the evil they performed they are still children of God. When their hearts start changing , and changing for good, don’t they deserve mercy too? Yes, we are human and we make mistakes, some worse than others, but we all deserve to be given the chance to change. The Elders having a prisoner in prison has changed my perspective a little about prisoners. Despite so much evil, there can be good. It reminds me of the scriptures. So much evil, so much killing, whoredoms, etc. The Lord still forgave them when they remembered Him and repented. The Lord has perfect understanding of one’s heart. When we have a meek and lowly heart and want to change, we will receive what we deserve. Which is love, kindness, understanding, and forgiveness. We are not perfect but the Lord is. How great is the Lord’s plan?! He knows what we need to learn and how we can grow. I hope that everyone feels like they deserve His love. Because we ALL do. Love him and love others. You can’t receive unless you give first. I hope we all can show our love for others like the Lord does.”
 
The Lord’s work is hastening!
 
Also, remember that less active family I mentioned earlier? If not, it is okay. President and Sister Gilbert, this is your favorite family in Miryang. But I wanted to share some amazing news. The daughter, whom we have been meeting, is finally coming to church!!!!! Her mom is also becoming more active. She wants to go to BYU so she is trying hard to make sure she can get in by doing everything. She is getting more involved. Her initial reason for coming may not be amazing but she is starting to realize more and more that it is important to stay active. They want to get patriarchal blessings too! We talked to the mom and daughter and they wanted them the next day! We are helping them and they have met with the Branch president. Hopefully, the father will be getting one too. The son is in Utah right now, staying with an LDS family. Which is amazing! I am very happy for their progress. It is slow but they are getting there. We just need to get the dad to come back to church as well. The elders still see him every week.
 
I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY! It is the greatest! LOVE YOU ALL TONS!!!!!!!!
 
Love Sister Orme